Arts District (Warehouse District)
Where most cities centers are filled with modern office buildings and shopping malls, a large part of downtown New Orleans developed around its rich artistic history. This downtown area was once referred to as the Warehouse District because of the many old shipping and manufacturing warehouses that were located here. Today, the warehouses have given way to galleries, entertainment and dining venues.
Located on the west bank of the Mississippi River, this neighborhood was developed in the 1980s after the World's Fair was held in the city. Explore the fine art and contemporary paintings on display in scores of galleries along Julia Street, which host events and exhibitions throughout the year. The famed White Linen Night marks the start of the new art season every August. During this event local galleries open their doors as part of a gala fundraiser for the nearby Contemporary Arts Center. Make sure you pack for the occasion as visitors are expected to wear only white.
Wander through the Arts District to find a great selection of contemporary restaurants and explore Cajun, Creole and modern American cuisine. The upscale restaurants are very popular so book ahead. Explore other attractions such as the National World War II Museum, and the Downtown Market, one of three Crescent City Farmers' Markets, which is open every Saturday morning at the corner of Girod Street and Magazine Street.
If you are traveling with kids, check out the Louisiana Children’s Museum, a converted warehouse midway along Julia Street. This venue focuses on making learning fun so it has dozens of interactive and educational activities such as the Talk and Play Center and the Little Port of New Orleans.
Downtown New Orleans was once a dreary industrial zone but since its resurrection into a Southern-style arts and entertainment district it’s become wonderful place to see a different side of the city. The Arts District is on bus lines and streetcar lines, and there’s plenty of parking available.